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Trucks: Hornaday wins battle of the ages

Ron Hornaday Jr. proved that age and experience can triumph, as the 53-year-old claimed his 50th series victory over the 21-year-old Truck series sophomore Austin Dillon.
Ron Hornaday Jr. notched up his landmark 50th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory in 295 races on Saturday night at a chilly Kentucky Speedway, holding off Austin Dillon to the chequered flag by 0.438s.

"Austin is an up-and-coming star, and at age 53, I beat him," said Hornaday, rejoicing in the triumph of age and experience over youth.

The 21-year-old Dillon had swept the practice and qualifying sessions and looked the man to beat on Saturday evening, but Brian Ickler got the better start and claimed the initial lead, and then after a caution for an accident for Josh Richards in turn 1 on lap 5 it was over to Hornaday to take charge.

A second caution came out on lap 22 for an accident involving Ryan Sieg in turn 3 which allowed for pit stops, allowing Truck rookie and former F1 driver Nelson Piquet Jr. to run at the front for the next 20 laps when the third caution came out for a wreck by Clay Greenfield. Timothy Peters took up the lead, but the caution was back out on lap 51 when an accident saw Miguel Paludo spin out and crunch Parker Kligerman against the wall, the two cars then falling into the path of Max Papis who was unable to avoid making contact with them.

Hornaday took the lead at the restart until the next caution for a spin by John King, after which the lead bounced around between Johnny Sauter, Piquet, Dillon and Buescher during two further cautions for spins by Ross Chastain (lap 80) and Brendan Gaughan (lap 87) before finally Dillon took a proper grip on things and led from lap 93 until lap 120.

With the race approaching its climax and cycling through one more round of pit stops the lead changed hands to Hornaday, Piquet and then Todd Bodine on lap 139, with Hornaday opting for four tyres when it was his turn to come in for his final refuelling stop.

Hornaday then led the final 11 laps of the race (for a grand total of 42 out of the 150 during the evening) once Bodine gave up the lead for his final pit stop of the evening. Dillon did his best to try and charge him down but didn't quite have enough to do it before the chequered flag proclaimed the veteran to be the winner.

"We gave 'em hell at the end, but the old man whipped my tail," conceded Dillon good-naturedly afterwards. "I gave it everything I had on those last laps."

"It will mean a lot when I sit on the front porch in the rocking chair with my grandkids and I can tell them that I won 50 races," said a jubilant Hornaday about his landmark achievement.




Related Pictures

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Ron Hornaday Jr. celebrates his 50th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory after winning the Kentucky 225 on Saturday at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky.[Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Parker Kligerman is collected by Miguel Paludo, who spins out in Turn 4, bringing out the fourth caution in the Kentucky 225 on Saturday at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky. [Photo Credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, finishes in sixth place Sunday, March 29, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Fastenal Ford, is involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 29, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, poses in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, is involved in an on-track incident in front of Erik Jones, driver of the #4 Toyota, and Joey Logano, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, as Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Hormel/Menards Toyota, drives away during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, and Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Hormel/Menards Toyota, race into turn one during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for third position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Truex, Jr. is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian Vickers, driver of the Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota, answers questions from media during a press conference before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. Vickers was forced to withdraw from competition due to blood clots. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place and Paul Menard, driver of the #27 FVP/Menards Chevrolet SS finishes in fourth place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS finishes in eighth place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 FVP/Menards Chevrolet SS finishes in fourth place and Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS finishes in fourteenth place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row / Visser Precision Chevrolet, stands in the garage area prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CampingWorld.com 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 13, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

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